Apple security team members might have searched home for missing iPhone 5 prototype, not police

Apple security team members might have searched home for missing iPhone 5 prototype, not police
A missing iPhone prototype soap unfolded this week, so eerily similar to the one of last year (up to the lost-in-a-bar point), that some were quick to label it a marketing stunt or a hoax, citing no records in SFPD of the incident, which supposedly involved officers searching through one Sergio Calderon's home, car and computer for the missing iPhone.

SFWeekly, however, went further with its investigation on the matter, and it turns out that two members of Apple's security team (possibly the same one that deals with counterfeits) were the actual people on the ground that searched the house. When the Apple employees went to the police department and said they've traced the GPS signal from the iPhone to a home in Bernal Heights, they reportedly just scored four non-uniformed SFPD officers, who escorted them to the address, and then stayed outside during the search, at least that's the SFPD's explanation.

This story gets convoluted from here. Sergio Calderon, 22, claims that what he thought were all six police officers, flashed badges, then two of them entered the house and started the carrot and stick game, while searching the premises. They asked if all members of the household are American citizens, but also promised him $300 to tell them the whereabouts of the phone, and vouched the owner won't be pressing charges.

The thing is that only police officers would have been let in to enter and search his house, and if the two members of Apple's security team have presented themselves as SFPD, that would have been borderline illegal, despite the police escort. 

Moreover, one of the guys who searched his home, left Sergio his phone number, and SFWeekly managed to connect it to Anthony Colon, a retired sergeant from the San Jose Police Department, whose pulled LinkedIn profile reads "recently joined Apple Computer as senior investigator".  

This story gets better by the day, even without any iPhone prototype to show for it. We are not waiting with bated breath for Apple to comment on it, though.

UPDATE: Below is SFPD's official report on the matter:

"September 2, 2011
After speaking with Apple representatives, we were given information which helped us determine what occurred. It was discovered that Apple employees called Mission Police station directly, wanting assistance in tracking down a lost item. Apple had tracked the lost item to a house located in the 500 block of Anderson Street. Because the address was in the Ingleside Police district Apple employees were referred to Officers in the Ingleside district. Four SFPD Officers accompanied Apple employees to the Anderson street home. The two Apple employees met with the resident and then went into the house to look for the lost item. The Apple employees did not find the lost item and left the house.

The Apple employees did not want to make an official report of the lost item."

source: SFWeekly & AllThingsD



1. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

so apple employees are impersonating police now huh? add that to the growing list of human rights violations that apple commits.

2. blade19

Posts: 65; Member since: Apr 29, 2011

I know this has been beaten like a dead horse, but didn't you know but they patented the police badge too!... :)

78. cheetah2k

Posts: 2300; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

So Apple are now above the law? WTF is happening to the world.....

14. stealthd unregistered

That's not a violation of human rights.

16. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

Hes talking about the factories apple products come from which dont have a very safe working enviorment. But remixfa is a fanboy because he knows that every company gets there products from chinese factories like foxconn. He singles out apple and turns a blind eye towards everyone else because he is a android/tmobile fanboy. Its a problem for everyone and he knows that. He also read this article in different places i know he did and he knows the police were involved.

20. stealthd unregistered

Foxconn isn't especially dangerous though, the bigger problem is how many hours they have to put in for what little pay they get (and I've seen the suicide rate mentioned before, Foxconn's is actually below China and the US's national average).

22. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

I meant wintex.

46. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

alright bio, do me a favor and find another major tech company that has the mass suicide rate, the exploding factories that werent built to codes, police impersonation, house tossing (the original missing i4), uber bullying nature that apple has. its not because im a fanboy, its because they stand ALONE in the gutter. And only fanboys excuse apple's wrong doing. non fanboy apple users are already turning away from apple saying they wont buy their next device from them because of all this crap. stealth, there were 17 suicides by jumping in 2 years, then foxcon built a factory in under 2 months and forgot to install ventillation which ended up causing an explosion killing and injuring even more. who is WORSE than that to say that foxcon isnt especially dangerous? And as meticulous as apple is about their products and controlling everything, they know EXACTLY whats going on. The new guy in charge, Cook, was in charge of hiring foxcon in the first place! so instead of calling me a fanboy while you blindly defend apples death rates, find me proof that everyone else is just as bad or worse... or shut it.

51. stealthd unregistered

17 people is not a mass anything. The average suicide rate in China is 21 people per 100,000. Foxconn employs 800,000 people in China, and 400,000 in their Shenzhen facility. Out of that 400k, there should have been 84 people successfully killing themselves, instead there were just 17. To put it in the most obnoxious terms possible: that's 75 people SAVED BY APPLE PER YEAR. (In case you're bad at math, that's 84 people minus 17 divided by 2, I gave you the benefit of rounding down). And you act as though Foxconn is the only company to have employees killed in an accident. Let's see here, Philips Disaster, 1989, 23 killed, 314 injured by an explosion in Pasadena, TX. Kader Toy Factory fire in Thailand, 1993, 188 (mostly young) men killed. 2005, Texas City Refinery explosion, 15 killed, over 100 injured. 2008, Georgia sugar refinery explosion, 13 people dead and 42 people injured. Now let's look at Foxconn's explosion, which was a total of...wait for it...3 killed and 16 injured. Any loss of life is terrible, but as industrial accidents go, it was not that bad. Foxconn also happens to make products for Acer, Asus, Sony Ericsson, Nokia, Dell, HP, Microsoft, among many others. Yet you solely blame Apple. Were you saying something about being a blind fanboy? I defend Apple when people like you utter stupid, nonsensical crap like this. You attack Apple at every opportunity you get no matter how dumb what you're saying is. Congratulations on being even more of a blind fanboy than the ifans you loathe so much.

55. thirdeye unregistered

@stealthd You may be good at math, but you really suck at logic. These are suicides AT the plant itself. Microsoft employs nearly 100k yet people don't jump off of their buildings or shoot themselves to death there, does that mean Microsoft saves 17 lives each year? When the foxconn worker goes home for the day to overdose on meds to death, or jump off their local bridge, are you going to hear about those? In fact we wouldn't even have heard about the deaths at the plant itself if it weren't for the drastic measures the company was taking like putting in nets around the building. That doesn't exactly address the reason why the workers are killing themselves in the first place. While I agree Apple isn't the only bad guy here, there's a huge difference between contracting a manufacturer where a freak accident occurs, even if it's due to human negligence versus knowingly and continually employing a company that has very clear and very serious human rights abuse. You hear the same s**t from Apple every year, "We are taking this seriously" and yet the following year even more workers kill themselves. Face it, no one should be defending any of these big companies, be it Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc etc. Wake up and stop being such a tool.

56. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

I think his logic was fine. He was exaggerating the lives saved part. But you do have a point yourself about committing suicide elsewhere. But he did provide a lot of perspective because all you hear are the bad things Apple does. I had no idea that Foxconn even made products for other companies (even though I'm sure not they don't order the same amount). And he also does have a strong point with the explosions too. No one should be defending any of the big companies but a lot of people like remixfa sure do a lot of finger pointing.


Posts: 1461; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

The problem isn't prevalent in other manufacturing supply factories, only Apples. Not to mention the alleged sickness caused by Apples manufacturing process at only Apple manufacturing plants. Lots of companies are prostituting China, and other nations for lower wages and higher profits, but it seems that Apples products demand has caused it to abandon prudent watch over humanitarian issues during the manufacturing of their products. It has been printed that they have tried to contact Steve Jobs, and Apple about the issues that workers face to no avail.....Karma is a bitch Steve!

73. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

of all those factory explosions.. how many of those factories were built in less than 90 days? oh yea, just one.. foxconn. How many of those companies have people regularly jumping off their roof's to a point that they install anti-jumper nets? oh yea, just foxcon. Your suicide rate only deals with a country average. Just because they dont kill themselves at work doesnt mean they arent doing it elsewhere, so instead of subtracting 17 from the national average you have to ADD it to the national average. Yes EN, foxcon is huge. they make products for seemlingly everyone. Why is it that all the problems happen at the apple factories? Where are the stories of the mass suicides from the Asus factories? Its not just a foxconn thing, its a foxconn-apple thing. Yea I'm finger pointing. Im pointing it right at the people that are the cause of it. Apple-foxconn. I would be pointing just as hard at google if it had the types of human rights violations that apple does. Its not a fanboy thing, its a "take a stand against it" thing. I dont give a crap which company it was, i would be pointing fingers and refusing to buy their products. The only ones that seem clouded are the iBots defending apple's atrocities and continuing to buy their products which only shows apple that they dont need to change, because iDiots dont care. Hit them in the wallet, and they will change.

65. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

You are correct man the whole industry is evil. We are just mad remixfa singles out apple and thinks everyone else is angle's

74. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

thanks for continuing to put words in my mouth biophone. Im sorry that you want to ignore apples atrocities. Keep buying iphones and killing Chinese workers. Its not on my head, its on yours. I dont think any company is an "angel", but there sure are a hell of a lot of companies that are less evil and have a better track record than apple.

86. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

hey bio.. its been 24 hrs. Im still waiting on proof that the rest of the cell/computer industry is as evil and commits the atrocities that apple commits. having a hard time finding proof??

71. stealthd unregistered

@thirdeye I guess you missed the part where Foxconn employees live in dormitories in the facilities. Where else are they going to off themselves? Agains, there are no human rights abuses here. Foxconn employees aren't slaves. They're there by choice, and apparently it's the best choice available to them. As I've already stated, the only major problem is how many hours they have to work for what little pay they get. But that doesn't seem particularly unique to China. It sucks, and it would be nice for it to change, but a lot of people expect Apple to swoop in and fix everything when it isn't their responsibility. It would certainly be nice considering how much money they're sitting on, but they're by no means obliged to. This isn't an Apple problem it's a China problem.

75. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

if you owned a company that had a primary partner that was known for horrid conditions, improperly built factories, and mass deaths and suicides at the plants... it is COMPLETELY YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. They make products FOR YOU. Without YOU they wouldnt have those factories open making your products. YOU need to demand immediate changes or you find someone else willing to supply your parts. And considering foxconn's biggest client by far is Apple, Apple has tons of power over them. If apple cared that is.

62. iKingTrust

Posts: 716; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

These little kids are silly dont let these 12 year olds work you up

64. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

I was just about to make you look silly but stealth just beat me to it dang.

53. PeterIfromsweden

Posts: 1230; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

that is a violation and apple should be sued for this !

3. M0nkeyBr

Posts: 77; Member since: Jul 13, 2011

Should this be illegal

4. AppleSUKs unregistered

should ban the iphone for this

5. Geeksarebest

Posts: 34; Member since: Jun 28, 2011

It'll never happen. Besides, you never know what conversations went on. This guy could be doing it for media attention. No matter how good the research being done by reporters is, no one knows for sure what kinds of conversations took place or what was said. Wouldn't be the first time that someone left out key details to make a story.

6. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2363; Member since: Apr 18, 2011


11. GBcacher unregistered

Is that what justice wears?

7. skymitch89

Posts: 1453; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

I'm just going to wait for Apple the officially announce/launch the next iPhone/iPod Touch. Been wanting the current gen of iPod Touch but couldn't afford it, now that I can I'm just going to wait for the next gen to see what it has to offer over the current gen.

8. Stoli89

Posts: 333; Member since: Jun 28, 2010

If true, then this is surprisingly unprofessional conduct from Apple. The Brand Security team should never lead on any search and seizure procedure and usually hires third parties to follow the police, when/where appropriate, in order to support the gathering of evidence. It's crazy that Apple would allow an employee to be directly involved. Where's the Legal Department, Corporate Affairs and/or Risk Assessment people in Apple's organization? If this story is true, then they have a pretty risky approach to solving this problem and opens Apple up to a myriad of legal challenges.

59. bubbasixx

Posts: 30; Member since: Apr 09, 2008

Not to mention the fact that first, the Police actually allowed a non-police officer to search a house without ever even filing a report to justify the search, and second there still not being a stolen property report available. This dude, guilty or not, HAS to have an illegal search lawsuit on his hands. I don't care what kind of turtleneck my boss wears, I would never go into a house without a cop present and without a clear warrant. Imagine if he had had the phone. Illegal search AND seizure WITH the cops watching. I don't know how this could have happened this way.

9. OutAndProud iSheep unregistered

I don't see anything wrong with $teve's Security. Isn't getting the prototype back and protecting Apple secrets more important than any law? At least that is what Mossberg and Pogue told me.

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